previous next

[14] could not lawfully use force against any of its members. As the Federalist, the organ of the Consolidation party, expressed it, the States were still to be regarded as distinct and independent sovereigns.

It should be noted that the existence and legality of slavery is recognized in three places in the Constitution, and that a disregard of these provisions, or the obligations arising therefrom, is in itself cause sufficient to justify a disruption of the Union, as a ‘contract violated on one side is abrogated on all sides.’

It is further noticeable that the eleven States which first adopted the Constitution were seceders from the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union and from the two States which remained loyal to the Federation, and that the States thus adopting the Constitution were in a position exactly analogous to that of the Confederate States in 1861.

Finally, in 1790, the last of the original thirteen States acceded to the new Constitution (some of them with great reluctance, New York and Rhode Island expressly reserving the right to secede), and the United States of America was launched upon its career.

It is worthy of thoughtful consideration that ‘the Northern States declared in convention, that they had but one motive for forming a Constitution, and that was commerce.’

The causes which led to the rupture between the Northern and Southern States began to make themselves felt within a very few years after the adoption of the Constitution. Probably the seeds of inevitable controversy were sown by the attempt to found the Federal fabric upon an agreement in writing, which must, on account of the limitations of language, be subject to varied constructions.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (2)
Rhode Island (Rhode Island, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1861 AD (1)
1790 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: